FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2022
We are horrified and heartbroken at the senseless death of Patrick Lyoya, a Black man who was killed by a Grand Rapids police officer on April 4, 2022. There are thousands of routine traffic stops every day here in Michigan and not one should cost a life.
One year ago, we shared this open letter of solidarity after the conviction of a former Minneapolis officer in the brutal murder of George Floyd in 2020. And yet, here we are again demanding justice and accountability for a Black man killed at the hand of police–this time in our own backyard.
What happened to Patrick Lyoya is not ok. We’re not ok. MNA’s core values include diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. And we remain firmly committed to influencing change, confronting racism, and breaking down barriers for people of color. We will continue to stand with Black, Indigenous and people of color in their fight for racial equality and justice. We will continue to say Black Lives Matter–because they do. We will continue to say Stop Asian Hate–because it has to. We know that things can and should be better. Let’s invoke accountability, and healing because we are worthy and deserving of this.
We extend our deepest condolences to the family of Patrick Lyoya, and we mourn with his parents who fled to Grand Rapids seeking refuge from the Democratic Republic of Congo and a better life for their son. Patrick’s life mattered.
To lend your support to African immigrants and refugees in the Grand Rapids community, please volunteer with and donate to: A Glimpse of Africa, a nonprofit in Grand Rapids whose objective is to create a space that gives a sense of belonging where African communities can feel at home, find support systems, and engage in their community.
Furthermore, MNA stands with nonprofits in West Michigan including many of our own member organizations, like Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance, as well as Grand Rapids community members who are marching for and demanding justice. We echo their demand for full transparency and accountability. Click here to download and sign the pledge of action.
To support the Lyoya family during their time of grief, please contribute directly to the family for Patrick’s funeral expenses at the following link.
Cornel West once said – justice is love made public. We cannot fulfill our missions as a sector if we do not honor and practice this. Our actions in ‘unprecedented times’ like this, our actions in lifting up our shared humanity, will move us along the path toward justice.
Michigan Nonprofit Weekly Roundup, COVID-19 Resources, and Public Policy Action Alerts.